Pilots from NetJets, XOJet, JetSuite and numerous other business aircraft operators are among those who have reported drone sightings over the last 10 months, according to a new list of reports of potential unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) encounters released by the FAA on Friday. Release of the report, which details sightings from November 13 last year to August 20, followed an August 20 Washington Post article citing a lack of available data on the encounters. Earlier this month the FAA reported drone sightings had skyrocketed from a total 238 in all of 2014 to 650 through early August this year.
In releasing the latest report, the FAA reiterated it “wants to send a clear message that operating drones around airplanes and helicopters is dangerous and illegal.” The list contained 765 entries, including reports from pilots of small general aviation aircraft, helicopters, business aircraft and large airliners.
In May, an operator of a Gulfstream (identified as a GLF5) reported seeing a UAS pass 100 feet below their aircraft in Santa Ana, Calif. In a July incident, a Novajet Learjet 45 and NetJets Hawker 800 pilot each “encountered” a UAS at 2,000 feet outside Teterboro Airport. In late June an XOJet Challenger 300 pilot reported a “near midair” with a UAS at 2,100 feet on final to Runway 28 at Traverse City, Mich. Also, a JetSuite Phenom 100 pilot spotted a UAS at 1,000 feet about two miles from San Jose Airport in California.